Monday, September 6, 2010


By: Michael O. Tunnell
Publisher: Charlesbridge
ISBN: 978-1-58089-337-4

FROM THE FLAP: This is a true story of chocolate, bubble gum, and hope. World War II was over, and Berlin was in ruins. US Air Force pilot Gail Halvorsen wanted to bring some happiness to the children of the city—but what could one man in a plane do?

KATE’S TAKE: “From little things come big things.” Author Michael O. Tunnell shows readers how one pilot, Gail Halvorsen, took one small action that brought a large gift, hope, to thousands of children.

AVIATION TIMELINE: Verbal/Linguistic, Visual/Spatial, and Kinesthetic

Have each student research a different plane from 1903 to the present. Write a brief summary of each plane on the lined side of a 4x6 index card and draw a picture of the plane on the back. Ask students to line up in front of the class in chronological order and present their reports to the class.

FROM LITTLE THINGS COME BIG THINGS: Verbal/linguistic, Intrapersonal, and Interpersonal

Gail Halvorsen gave thirty kids two sticks of gum and started a movement that borought hope to thousands across the world for decades. Think about a time you did something simple that brought hope, joy, or happiness to someone else. Write an essay about this incident.

INTERESTING INTERVIEWS: Verbal/Linguistic, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal

Author Michael O. Tunnell learned about the candy bomber, when Gail Halvorsen came to Mr. Tunnell’s church to speak to a youth group. Ask students to interview a senior citizen about his or her life. Have students choose one interesting fact they learned from their interview with the class.

PAPER AIRPLANE PRAISE: Verbal/Linguistic , Visual/Spatial, and Interpersonal

Give each student five ten-by-ten squares of paper. On each paper have the student compliment another student, but do not have the author sign his or her name. Hand the compliments into the teacher so that he or she can make sure the comments are appropriate. Give the squares back to the students after you have proofread them. Then, ask them to fold each one into a paper airplane and write the name of the student he or she complimented on the airplane's wing. When you’re done reading Candy Bomber, ask students in groups of five to fly their five airplanes from the top of playground equipment. Students collect their individual compliments. This is a great way to build community.

UNCLE WIGGLY WINGS MATH: Logistical/Mathematical

Here are some Candy Bomber math word problems you can put out at your math center.

1. Easter Sunday, 1949, a plane landed almost every sixty seconds in Berlin for twenty-four hours. Approximately how many U.S. planes landed in Berlin that day?

2. The American Confectioners Association donated 6,500 pounds of candy in one month to Operation Vittles. If there were thirty days in that month, on average, how many pounds of candy were donated each day? How many tons of candy were donated each day?

3. Lieutenant Halvorsen told German children that a C-54 could carry 200 sacks of flour weighing a total of 20,000 pounds. How much did each sack weigh?

4. U.S. Citizens donated 1,100 square yards of linen to make parachutes. If each parachute was one square foot, how many parachutes did Operation Vittles make out of that linen?

5. Lifesavers Corporation donated 200 boxes of Lifesavers to Operation Vittles, totaling 4,000 rolls. How many rolls of Lifesavers were in each box?


-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
-Life as a Fighter Pilot by Brian Williams
-Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven
-The Two Great Wars by Janine Scott
-World War II for kids: a History with 21 Activities by Richard Panchyk

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